I got back my story from LightSpeed over the weekend. I reread the story and changed the ending. It was something I wanted to do but forgot about. I think the ending is a little better now.
The main character is a 12-year-old girl with Downs Syndrome. I want to create unexpected characters and I think that I have done a good job with her. Using a Down’s child as a main character is a risk and probably won’t fly with some editors and readers.
I am concerned that the beginning is a turn-off. The problem is that in the first scene she discovers a dead body. It is a little icky, but I wanted to contrast that with the personality of the girl. I think that some editors will not read past the discovery of the body.
I ran the story through various grammar and word checkers trying to catch all the “this makes no sense” errors that I am guilty of putting in a story.
It went out to ClarkesWorld today and I expect a rejection 9 to 12 days from now. I am #218 in the queue. He has been responding in 10 or 11 days so figure he has to read 20 or more stories a day to keep up.
it is a long story (6500 words), perhaps too long for many SF zines.
John W. Campbell used to read 500-600 stories a month for the 20 or so years that he edited Astounding (later Analog) Magazine (That number is nearly the same today as it was in 1938. The pro SF magazines like ClarkesWorld still get up to 800 a month). He claimed to be the world’s authority on bad science fiction. Fred Pohl spent almost as many years editing IF, Galaxy and Bantam books. I am sure that Neil Clarke is feeling his eyeballs slowly burn out reading his 20 or so bad SF stories a day.